Fillings are routine dental restorations that protect damaged teeth from infection and decay. In the U.S., about 90% of adults over the age of 40 have at least one filling in their mouth. If the filling is put in wrong, it could cause discomfort for the patient after they have left the office. But there are many reasons why dentists may not put in a filling properly. Some dentists may run a volume practice, rushing patients through the office to make up for small margins. Other dentists may lack an understanding of how occlusion really works and might therefore put in a poorly fitting filling.
Although it is common for tenderness to linger up to a day after a filling for some individuals, continued tenderness could be the sign of a high filling.
When a filling is too high, more pressure is put on it from the opposite tooth when you close your mouth. The tooth is pressed harder than usual into the connective tissue surrounding the tooth known as the periodontal ligament. Imagine that you’ve shut your finger in your car door. The initial impact may hurt, but you’ll notice that the finger becomes red, often swells slightly, and remains tender for hours. This happens because the body responds to damage by sending more blood to the area to promote healing of damaged tissue. Likewise, blood flow to the periodontal ligament will increase, causing swelling and pain in the area.
If you suspect that your filling is too high, you should contact your dentist. In a relatively short amount of time, a dentist will be able to adjust the filling to make sure that it fits with your regular bite. Afterward, give the periodontal ligament time to heal. The tissue may take anywhere from a few days to two weeks to heal completely. Tenderness that persists after two weeks should be evaluated by a dentist, and checked for other possible causes.
High fillings, though not generally a large health risk, are uncomfortable and painful. They can be difficult to notice before you leave the dental office if local anesthesia was used during the restoration. With your mouth numbed, it is difficult to accurately know whether or not your new filling is coming in contact with the opposite tooth too soon. When it comes to choosing your dentist, make sure that you are looking for someone who has an eye for detail. Having a filling that matches your bite will prevent you from needing to find the time to come back in to remove extra material.
Cosmetic dentists are a good choice when it comes to attention to detail. Fixing damaged teeth in a way that makes the restoration itself nearly invisible takes time and practice. Every detail matters in how a restored tooth looks and functions. Fillings require the same amount of attention to prevent premature failure and to ensure that the filling itself matches your bite.
Neuromuscular dentistry training also helps because it gives a dentist an understanding of how your bite works and how to avoid high fillings.
Most importantly, though, you want to work with a dentist who will take the time and care to make sure every dental procedure, from the smallest filling to the biggest smile makeover, is done right the first time.
If you have a tooth that needs a restoration, please call 509-368-7788 for an appointment at Collins Dentistry & Aesthetics in Spokane.
Or office in Spokane is located at:
3151 E. 28th Ave.
Spokane, WA 99223
Office phone # 509-368-7788